Pesticides in citruspeel

by Henk Ploeger

From citruspeel, like orange and lemon, you can make wonderful scented essential oils. Last october I made, using the steam destillation method, about 100 mL essential oil from orange peel. You can read this article:  http://indekoperenketel.nl/en/composition-of-essential-oil-from-orange-peels/

It turns out, from the results of analyses, that the essential oil contained 4 types of pesticides. The presence of these pesticides has obvious to do with the cultivation method of the oranges in Spain.

A few weeks ago my attention was grasped by this production label of a net with five lemons in a supermarket. On this label on can read the peel is treated with Imazalil, Propiconazole en  Fludioxonil. This is what you can find on wikipedia about the substance Imazalil:
Imazalil is also used to protect potatoes, citrus fruits and other fruits agains fungicide after harvesting. Of fruits which are been treated with Imazalil, the peels can not been eaten. 

Imazalil

About Propiconazole:
In de land- en tuinbouw wordt propicanozool gebruikt bij de teelt van graangewassen en de graszaadteelt, tegen gele of bruine roest en echte meeldauwPropiconazool is een matig toxische stof. Ze is wel giftig voor waterorganismen. In watersediment en in de bodem is ze vrij stabiel en breekt ze slechts langzaam af.

propiconazole

Over Fludioxonil:
Het wordt gebruikt voor het behandelen van zaaizaad van granen en (gewoonlijk in combinatie met een ander fungicide zoals cyprodinil) op vele groenten- en fruitteelten en sierplanten.Het risico voor vogels, bijen, aardwormen en andere bodemorganismen is laag; voor vissen en ongewervelde waterdieren is het risico wel hoog en bij het verspuiten moet men maatregelen treffen om te vermijden dat het product in het water terechtkomt.

fludioxonil

These are the four pesticides found in orange essential oil:

Presence
of :-
1.
Chlorpropham
0.01 mg/kg-
2.
Chlorpyriphos
Ethyl- 3.0 mg/kg-
3.
o-Phenylphenol
0.96 mg/kg-
4.
Pyrimethanil
0.60 mg/kg

 

Number 3 o-Phenylphenol is added to the wax exterior of the peel to improve the durability. The other three pesticides have other functions and are sprayed in the growing period of the fruits. These chemicals added to the plant comes eventually through the peel into the essential oil.  

 

The presence of pesticides in this essential oil makes its unusable for internally and externally applications. For exemple how aroma therapists use this oil in their practice. So this is enough reason to buy only essential oils of plants which has been grown organic. In wikipedia on can read if the peel has been grown with the pesticide Imazalil, you can not eat the peel. People using citrus peels in their diet and menu should be informed beter.  

foto: wikipedia

It’s time growers of citrus in the mediterrean region switch to organic growing methods. So the peel is no longer a (chemical) waste product, but can be used as valuable material!